The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

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August 29, 2012

Teens' 'designated texter' takes seat next to driver

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WASHINGTON —

Use of cellphones by novice drivers has been banned in 31 states. But distracted driving was cited as a possible factor this year when preliminary data showed that teen highway deaths appeared to be creeping up after years of decline.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and the National Transportation Safety Board are pushing for laws against texting and cellphone use while driving. But state lawmakers have moved cautiously for fear of voter backlash.

The National Safety Council has estimated that a quarter of all crashes are the result of distracted driving.

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